Anyone who is familiar with Marshawn Lynch knows he doesn’t speak much to the media. So, when he does, he makes it count. Tuesday he took to the podium and answered the questions posed to him with his signature blunt honesty that those who know him love and respect.
Most athletes who hail from Oakland, take great pride in where they came from. But Lynch reps Oakland like few others.
He has his Beast Mode store in down town Oakland and even during his years in Buffalo and Seattle, Oakland was his permanent home.
When he signed with the Raiders prior to the draft, it was evident from his expression that he was living a childhood dream. He confirmed that Tuesday, saying being able to play in Oakland is “like a dream come true.”
Lynch added that his decision to come out of retirement after a year out of football was spurred by the team’s plans to leave Oakland for Las Vegas. That reasoning seems a bit odd until he explains it.
“Knowing that they was leaving and, you know, a lot of the kids here probably won’t have an opportunity to see most of their idols growing up being in their home town no more,” said Lynch. “. . . it gives them an opportunity . . . to see somebody that actually did it from where they from and for the team that they probably idolize.”
Giving back to his community means a great deal to Lynch. For that reason, playing for his home town just made too much sense.
“With me playing and having to go to work in other places just didn’t allow me to do the type of things that I was able to do while I was retired,” said Lynch. “I’m at home. I do them while I’m at home, so it just gave me more time to do the same shit that I would’ve been doing if it was something I could’ve been doing year round.”
From a team aspect, Lynch joins a squad coming off a 12-4 playoff seasons – the franchise’s first in 14 years. He will be the feature back in a top five offense with young players on the rise like Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. There is now a lot of talent in Oakland, making them serious contenders this season.
Lynch acknowledged that having talented players around him is “good shit”, but not the most important thing to him. His team is much larger.
“I got a whole Oakland behind me,” Lynch continued. “The way we feel just about where we from and why we represent where we from so hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down. So, every home game that I get to come to this motherfucker I’m probably gonna be riding with the whole town.
“It aint like, I’m coming to y’all city and I’m riding with y’all. This is actually born and raised and bred and pissing in them hallways and running down them alleyways and I really did that right here. And now I get an opportunity to play here. So, all of [the talent on the Raiders roster] is great and that’s good, but this is more for Oakland though.”
This is what you might call the long version of his tweet where he said “Shit just got REAL. Townbizzness breath on me.” Beast Mode is as real as it gets.